I was born and raised in Omaha. I left Omaha for about 8 years to attend TCU in Fort Worth, then work for a few years, but returned to Omaha. Since I was born and raised in Nebraska, the better suited question for me is, “what has kept you in Nebraska?” Nebraska is a wonderful place and has allowed for my family and I to establish a solid foundation, develop great friendships and get involved with a variety of organizations to help the community. I have always believed that Nebraska is a great place to call home. The culture and people are honest, respectable, ethical and family-focused.
I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop and grow my career in Omaha. This has fortunately allowed for me to travel the world and broaden my experiences and network of relationships globally. Through my international travels, I have come to appreciate how lucky we are to live in the United States and call Nebraska home. We have a good thing going in the US and Nebraska, it is important that we understand that and continue to maintain and strengthen our way of life and freedom.
People have asked me in the past, “what is one of Nebraska’s best attributes?” My response has been that, in various other places, the general degree of separation is around 6 degrees away from individuals socially connected to one another. In Nebraska, I have always felt the degree of separation is one degree of Nebraskans socially connected away from one another. If you need access to someone, an introduction, insight, guidance or help in getting involved with an organization, it is easy to get networked and have someone to provide a vouch and facilitate an introduction. The people of Nebraska are humble, helpful and eager to help each other succeed.
I have been working at Burlington Capital for 18 years. At Burlington Capital, we consider ourselves as an alternative investment management company with a strong entrepreneurial culture. We are always trying to explore new ways to leverage our knowledge, skill sets and experiences to continue to broaden our existing platforms. I currently serve as the CEO and President for Burlington Capital International division of Burlington Capital. This part of the business has focused on international agriculture and agribusiness related initiatives since the mid-1990s.
Over the years, I have also been intrigued with Ag-Tech even though we were not involved in any ag-tech businesses, I still monitored and studied it from a distance. In the beginning of 2020, we decided at Burlington Capital to dig a little deeper into the world of Ag-Tech and understand what it means and would there be a role for our team and company. As I conducted my due diligence, there were two key discoveries that jumped out at me – first, there was in the world of Tech, Ag-Tech was the laggard, not getting the attention or investment the other Tech sectors. Secondly, as I peeled back the layers in Ag-Tech, it became apparent that the existing investment and innovation driving Ag-Tech was coming from the coasts and not from the Midwest. This did not make sense, given the Midwest’s economy is driven by agriculture and there is a tremendous amount of generation and institution ag-history in the region. In understanding this and wanting to build something that leveraged our state and regions strengths, we set a goal to MAKE NEBRASKA/MIDWEST THE GLOBAL AG-TECH HUB..
In establishing this goal, we saw an opportunity to build a platform in Nebraska that would provide these AG-TECH entrepreneurs with access to capital and resources to start, support and grow their businesses in Nebraska and Midwest. Burlington Capital partnered with InvestNebraska to launch the “Burlington Capital AG-VENTURE” Fund. This fund focuses on providing seed capital to these ag-tech entrepreneurs and companies that are developing new innovations focused on SOLVING MIDWEST PRODUCER PROBLEMS. It is our intent to have this fund serve as the catalyst to strengthen and broaden the ag-tech ecosystem in Nebraska and the Midwest.
A goal I’m working towards is making Nebraska/Midwest the Global Ag-Tech. I want Nebraska/Midwest to be the desired destination for creative, innovative people and companies.
A couple of fun facts about me? I graduated college with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and I have traveled and visited all 50 States.
If I had five minutes to prepare an hourlong lecture, I would love to teach the importance of having a sense of humor. My favorite thing to do is laugh and to make people laugh. Everyone loves to laugh. Humor is an extremely valuable characteristic, powerful and unique for everyone. I would stress that people need to incorporate humor and levity into their life and with their family, friendships and work more frequently.
Where can people find me and my work? Sitting on my back deck or any patio on a sunny, warm day.